In a second season that labored through a sophomore slump, HBO's Girls ended in an unusual way: Romance prevails.
The finale starts with Hannah (Lena Dunham) on the brink of disaster. Her book editor chews her out for lack of production. Hannah’s best excuse is to blame her self-induced ear concussion, but the editor threatens a lawsuit if he doesn’t see pages.
So, Hannah sets out to write an entire book in one day, which for Hannah means endlessly shoveling Cool Whip into her mouth. Oh, and she decides it’s time for a haircut. A Carey Mulligan magazine photo inspires Hannah to go retro and chop her hair into the likes of a 14th century squire (or Arya from Game of Thrones, Season 2).
The coif change is an unmitigated disaster. Yet, Hannah’s decision gives us the return of Laird — the basement junkie who Hannah hooked up with in a drunken stupor earlier this season. Laird gives the haircut (his "best work ever") its finishing touch. He also plays a pivotal role in delivering a spine-tingling critique of Hannah’s cantankerous personality. “You have rotten insides,” Laird scolds.
Speaking of blunt confessions, Shoshanna and Ray hit splitsville following a nasty tiff that turns super personal. Shosh (Zosia Mamet) tells Ray she pities him as if he were a caged monkey. Ray senses the breakup and calls hers bluff. Shosh makes sure to guard her secret about the doorman, but breaks it off because Ray’s just too damn negative. Ray shouts, points his finger in Shosh’s face, and then storms off with his Andy Kaufman cutout poster.
Shoshanna bawls her eyes out, but the sting of losing Ray doesn’t last. The final image we see of Shosh is her making out with a random blond dude in a bar.
While Shosh and Ray meet their doom, Marnie and Charlie are back for good. Whether it’s his recently enlarged bank account or his finely tuned tornado tongue, Marnie (Allison Williams) is a woman possessed. When Charlie hints that he likes things the way they are, Marnie snaps at the notion of just having "casual sex." She delivers an ultimatum, leading to a teary-eyed admission that she longs to make Charlie late-night snacks… and have his kids, too.
“That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. I love you,” Charlie responds.
And just like that, Charlie and Marnie live happily ever after (at least through the remainder of the episode).
That brings us back to Hannah. Marnie swings by her former best friend’s apartment to share the news about Charlie. Hannah plays hermit and hides out of sight next to the bed. Marnie though, sneaks a peek at the first line of Hannah’s book. It’s a subtle moment, but Hannah’s thesis (that friendship amongst college buddies is more potent than romance) seems to have somehow put things with Marnie at ease — for now.
The stage is then set for Adam’s dramatic rescue operation. Things with Natalia become icy — especially in bed — leaving Adam in a fit of rage that he takes out on his wannabe Huck Finn raft. A timely FaceTime call from Hannah is the only thing that prevents Adam from total annihilation. Adam cares less about Hannah’s messy haircut than the befuddling Apple technology. “Shiri (he meant Siri) operate! Operate!”
Adam then sets out on a shirtless sprint through the streets to Hannah’s apartment. She won’t answer the door, so he kicks through before sweeping Hannah off the bed. As Adam holds Hannah in his arms, she incredulously asks, “You’re here?”
“I was always here,” Adam responds.
A sweaty kiss puts a cap on Girls' second season. It’s a heroic denouement to not just the second season — but the Girls series.
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